Saturday, April 28, 2007

For Hal Deppe:

The picture is of an early model RCA Iconoscope camera manufactured in the late 1930's. Two of these cameras were installed by RCA in the CBS 15 Van Studio in 1939. They were used there until 1947 when the studio was closed for rebuilding. As a matter of fact the same model camera is shown in the CBS retiree website photo gallery as Image 21 , page 8, This is a 1946 photo of the John Reed King "missus goes a'shopping" show, the camera still being used until the studio was closed down for eventual rebuilding. I also heard a story that Russia had purchased a TV studio system from RCA including this model camera but could never confirm.In May of 1941, I was sent down to 15 Van. to construct new pre-amps designed by Dr. Larry Jaffe for these cameras.. Jaffe had also modified the one sync generator from 441 lines to 525. This was all in preparation to commence commercial television July one, 1941. I did a lot of Iconoscope testing and replacement with these cameras in the ensuing months. The viewfinders were optical and I can’t recall whether they included image reversal or whether the image appeared in reverse. How well I remember edge lighting and masking.It would be interesting to discern the logo on the camera side. I don't recall any of the CBS cameramen wearing a cap and suspenders. Cameraman was a high prestige job is those days and they dressed well.The cameramen at CBS in 1941 were members of the production staff. They alternated between camera and directing the back to back productions of those days and all had creative backgrounds. One wound up in Hollywood after WWII as a writer and later, Producer-Director.And speaking of the old days, there are pictures of the first CBS television studio back in 1931, when almost fifty hours of programing was telecast weekly, at the web site below. I assume this studio was at 485 Madison Ave.

It was a long time ago...

Bob Wilson